Critical reaction is in for “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” and it’s not good. This second entry in the “Harry Potter” prequel series is officially the lowest-rated entry in any film in the ‘Potter’ franchise to date.
With 38 reviews counted, the film sits at 58% positive with an average rating of 6.4/10 on Rotten Tomatoes. Things aren’t much better on Metacritic with a 60/100. Few of the reviews are aggressive pans, with much of the complaints about it being that it’s too cluttered and tries too many things. Here’s a sampling:
“Rowling has surrendered to her maximalist tendencies and so cluttered up the story that you spend far too much time trying to untangle who did what to whom and why.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times
“Newt, meanwhile, never conveys anything resembling an impure impulse. He’s as tame as the cuddliest beasts stuffed into his suitcase, and even less than fantastic than the series he headlines.” – A.A. Dowd, AV Club
“”The Crimes of Grindelwald” is hampered by the unwieldy meshing together of disparate plots that could service their own films.” – Kate Erbland, indieWire
“It took J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter-adjacent franchise exactly one film for the shrugs to set in, even with all those fine actors up there amid expensive digital blue flames.” – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
“”The Crimes of Grindelwald” probably had enough plot to drive a four-hour mini-series, but even so, what we get is often absorbing and grand.” – William Bibbiani, TheWrap
The highest rated film in the franchise is “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” at 96%, while the first “Fantastic Beasts” was the lowest before now with 74%. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” opens in cinemas November 16th.